Site Sponsors
Results 1 to 10 of 10

Thread: Can you get that wit MFDB...

  1. #1
    Senior Member GMB's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Heart of Europe
    Posts
    396
    Post Thanks / Like

    Can you get that wit MFDB...

    and if yes, how.

    The latest edition of Digital PhotoPro had an article about Douglas Kirkland and a series of shots he took with an 8x10 camera shot wide open. The article is available here http://www.digitalphotopro.com/profi...-and-back.html and there is a link to his site with further examples of what he is shooting. I find his shots very impressive because they have a wonderful timeless elegant style and atmosphere resulting from the narrow depth of field and the draw of the out of focus area.

    Leaving aside that I will never get Nicole Kidman to pose for me , I wonder whether one can create a similar atmosphere with a MFDB and, if yes, whether members would be willing to share some shots.

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Reykjavik, Iceland
    Posts
    2,311
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    9

    Re: Can you get that wit MFDB...

    I would say no, because you, and no one else is Douglas Kirkland. Much of the power in the photographs are through an excellent use of light and composition, and getting excellent poses/expressions out of his subjects.

    But beyond that I would still say no, as the sheer resolution and tonality of 8x10 are pretty astonishing. The real crux of the issue is the depth of field impression and tonality. Try something like an 80mm f/2, 100mm f/2.2, 110mm f/2, or 150mm f/2.8 and shoot it wide open or one stop down. These lenses provide a more or less normal angle of view with very shallow depth of field. The best bet for this would be the 80/2, 100/2.2 and 110/2, but they are all rather specialized lenses -- the 80mm f/2's are available in Contax, Mamiya and Rollei (sinar/leaf), the 100mm is available for the H series, and the 110/2 for Rollei, Hasselblad V with the CFV and 200 series, or for adaptation to a focal plan MF digital body.
    My photos are here: http://www.stuartrichardson.com and more recent work here: http://stuartrichardson.tumblr.com/ Please have a look at my book!
    My lab is here: http://www.customphotolab.is and on facebook

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Dallas, TX
    Posts
    820
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Can you get that wit MFDB...

    It's difficult to gauge the DOF in that image due to its size on the web. What strikes me most about that shot is the lighting, not so much the DOF. I can't help but think a 85L shot wide open with a healthy dose backlight (and the appropriate front fill) would net a very similar result. A 200mm fast aperture (like the Mamiya 200mm APO) could be possible. You may need to use a short tube to shorten the min focus distance.

    This is the 200mm APO on a 48x36mm sensor shot at 10-12 feet? I'm guessing...



    Now, this is shot very near (possible even at) the min focus distance -



    I'm just trying to show with those shots that the 200mm APO could probably provide the right FOV with a very thin DOF. I'm not sure if a 12mm tube would work or not (it might overly shorten the working distance, thus not enough FOV for an upper body portrait). You'd definitely have to experiment with lighting to get the right effect & balance.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Reykjavik, Iceland
    Posts
    2,311
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    9

    Re: Can you get that wit MFDB...

    Actually, the reason that I think a fast normal lens is important is not just the depth of field, but the fundamental nature of distance and perspective. He is shooting large format, where you are almost always shooting with a standard lens for portraiture -- he is probably using a lens in the 300mm range, which on 8x10 is like a 55mm or so. This leads to a normal perspective (not flattened facial features or compression etc...very close to how the eye sees it), but it is still a 300mm lens shot at f/8 or so, shallow depth of field.

    So, basically, you need something that gives both a normal perspective and a shallow depth of field -- there are only two ways to achieve this -- very large sensor/negative size, or a normal/short tele lens that is very fast. With medium format, that would be an 80/2, 110/2 etc. Using a 200 would mean you have to be far away to get a full body shot, and then you would have strong compression effects visible on the subject.

    Not to imply that this is such a similar shot, but here is an example of the 110/2 shot at a fairly wide aperture. It has shallow depth of field, but still normal field of view without visible telephoto effects:


    or similarly,
    My photos are here: http://www.stuartrichardson.com and more recent work here: http://stuartrichardson.tumblr.com/ Please have a look at my book!
    My lab is here: http://www.customphotolab.is and on facebook

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    309
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Can you get that wit MFDB...

    To get equivalent DOF from a 50mm lens (to equalize the focal length) on a 35mm camera in comparison to a 300mm lens shot on an 8"x10" camera wide open at f/5.6 you would have to use an aperture of f/1.15 at a distance of 10 feet.

    This only gets you the depth of field, now you need to add the tonality and resolution from the 80 square inches of film.

  6. #6
    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Los Altos, CA
    Posts
    10,486
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    1031

    Re: Can you get that wit MFDB...

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeremy View Post
    To get equivalent DOF from a 50mm lens (to equalize the focal length) on a 35mm camera in comparison to a 300mm lens shot on an 8"x10" camera wide open at f/5.6 you would have to use an aperture of f/1.15 at a distance of 10 feet.

    This only gets you the depth of field, now you need to add the tonality and resolution from the 80 square inches of film.
    Well said Jeremy.

    Shooting LF or ULF you have a few other factors working for (or against) you. The fact that a human head is almost 1:1 on 8x10, so a head-and-shoulders portrait is still relatively close focus makes it difficult to replicate the look on smaller formats -- it's why the 20x24 Polaroid is so unique too; head-and-shoulder shots are taken at almost 1:1 magnification!

    Another is natural fall-off, both resolution and light, from lenses on ULF formats; it's just gentler and easier to see across the larger capture area. Yet another is the view camera movements themselves: just a few degrees of swing or tilt on one standard will vector the shallow plane of focus into a thin "swath" of focus across the image, further affecting the result.

    IMO the closest you will get to replicating the effect with MF would be to use a very fast almost normal focal length lens like the Mamiya 80mm f1.9 or the Hassy 110 f2 wide open, and use lighting (a socked beauty dish or Mola) to create a gentile fall-off. If those lenses still render too sharp at the edges -- which they probably will -- try covering the lens with a single layer of saran wrap with a ragged about 3/4 inch or so hole in the center. If you do all that, I think you'll be about as close as you can get with MF...
    Jack
    home: www.getdpi.com

    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."

  7. #7
    apneaimages
    Guest

    Re: Can you get that wit MFDB...

    One of the reassons i have get a Razzle and a Speedgraphic was this to shoot Wide open. Some of my test with simple 3x4 Polaroids you can see att http://www.apneaimages.com/blog/?page_id=119
    Still need to use film BUT i have the feeling that all this is a combination of Format, Lens (characteristics) and film choise.

    With MF format i have see some that shoot with a Manual 1.9 (i think) mamiya lens and create exactly the effect you are up to.

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Reykjavik, Iceland
    Posts
    2,311
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    9

    Re: Can you get that wit MFDB...

    Beautiful shots Lambis! Am I alone in wishing 4x5 film came in 5 inch rolls? Rolls are so much more pleasant to deal with than individual sheets, and then you could have 4x5 (shot like 645), 5x5, 5x7, 5x9 and so on. It would be just like 120, only on steroids. Even if it had only 5-10 shots a roll, it would still be easier and cleaner to deal with than grafmatics, quickloads, readyloads and all the other various ways they tried to solve this problem.
    My photos are here: http://www.stuartrichardson.com and more recent work here: http://stuartrichardson.tumblr.com/ Please have a look at my book!
    My lab is here: http://www.customphotolab.is and on facebook

  9. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    309
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Can you get that wit MFDB...

    On 4x5 in comparison to a 300mm @ f/5.6 on 8x10 at 10 feet you would have to shoot at f/2.8 with a 150mm lens. On a 36x48mm sensor an 80mm lens at f/2.15 would be equivalent depth of field at 10 feet.

    These are just numbers to get the same DOF.

  10. #10
    Subscriber Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    130
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    24

    Re: Can you get that wit MFDB...

    Lambis you have some fabulous work on your website.

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •